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Staking Mobile Territory
Fox, THQ, and Bethesda leverage game brands for cell-phone titles
 
Despite the universal allure of playing the original Doom via a cell phone's color screen, the consensus is growing within the wireless community that mobile games should be a more unique affair. Striking that balance between notoriety and originality has led Fox to license The Simpsons to THQ Wireless, and for Bethesda Softworks to borrow from its popular Morrowind RPG franchise.
 
Fox and THQ are planning a complete wireless gaming community based on the town of Springfield from The Simpsons. The first two titles in the franchise are being unveiled at E3, and each game will connect back to a particular episode or setting from the animated Fox series. Bonestorm is based on the "opponent-deboning" fighting game that Bart was so desperate to have, he almost went to jail for it. THQ says other fictitious games mentioned in the TV series will also become their own wireless games.
 
The second title Fox and THQ will debut at E3 is Moe's Tavern Games: Darts, in which players can compete against four different Simpsons characters in a variety of tavern-inspired activities.
 
Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is the inspiration for the publisher's new wireless series The Elder Scrolls Travels. While retaining role-playing elements, Travels is also a first-person action experience that allows players to fight fierce creatures as they travel through dank dungeons. Stormhold and Dawnstar are the first two titles to be released for the series.
 
Based on Bethesda's drag-racing franchise of the same name, IHRA Drag Racing offers a solo mode as well as three-minute multiplayer races against opponents on the same cell network. Depending on the individual handset, an upgrade shop, 32 vehicles, and six levels of racing are featured.
 
-By George T. Chronis
 
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